Home » Archives by category » World (Page 154)

Trains, schools affected as French unions call strike amid soaring inflation

Regional train traffic in France was cut by about half on Tuesday as several unions called a nationwide strike, seeking to capitalise on anger with decades-high inflation to expand a weeks-long industrial action at oil refineries to other sectors.There were also some disruption to schools, as the strike primarily affected the public sector.Trade union leaders were hoping workers would be energised by the government’s decision to force some of them to go back to work at petrol depots to try and get fuel flowing again, a decision some say put in jeopardy the right to strike.But a survey by Elabe pollsters for BFM TV showed only 39% of the public backed Tuesday’s call for a nationwide strike, while 49% opposed it, and growing numbers opposed the strike by oil refinery workers.PARIS SUITCASE MURDER: MAIN SUSPECT IN DEATH OF GIRL IS 24-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WITH ‘PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS’
Protesters stand in the smoke of flares during a demonstration, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022 in Marseille, southern France. France is in the grip of transport strikes and protests for salary raise on Tuesday that threaten to dovetail with days of wage strikes that have already hobbled fuel refineries and depots, sparking chronic gasoline shortages around the country.
(AP Photo/Daniel Cole)The refinery workers’ strike has become one of President Emmanuel Macron’s stiffest challenges since his re-election in May.Government spokesperson Olivier Veran said the requisition of more staff for refineries could occur during the day, as queues of motorists worried about supply disruption grow at petrol stations.”There will be as many requisitions as deemed necessary … Blocking refineries, when we have reached an agreement on wages, this is not a normal situation,” Veran told France 2 TV.FRANCE STARTS EXPORTING GAS TO GERMANY AMID ENERGY CRISISJust under 10% of high school teachers were on strike on Tuesday, with numbers even lower in primary schools, education ministry data showed. The call for strike was most observed in vocational schools, where teachers oppose planned reforms.On the transport front, Eurostar said it was cancelling some trains between London and Paris because of the strike.
A protester hold a photo of a millionaire with a pig face before a demonstration, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022 in Marseille, southern France. France is in the grip of transport strikes and protests for salary raise on Tuesday that threaten to dovetail with days of wage strikes that have already hobbled fuel refineries and depots, sparking chronic gasoline shortages around the country.
(AP Photo/Daniel Cole)French public railway operator SNCF said that traffic on regional connections was down 50% but that there were no major disruptions to national lines.As tensions rise in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy, strikes have spilled over into other parts of the energy sector, including nuclear giant EDF (EDF.PA), where maintenance work crucial for Europe’s power supply will be delayed.FRANCE’S EMMANUEL MACRON CRITICIZES BIDEN’S ‘ARMAGEDDON’ WARNING: WE MUST ‘SPEAK WITH PRUDENCE’A representative of the FNME-CGT union on Tuesday said strikes were affecting work at nuclear power plants, including at the Penly plant.The strikes are happening as the government is set to pass the 2023 budget using special constitutional powers that would allow it to bypass a vote in parliament, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Sunday.
European Union flags flap in the wind outside EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. European Union leaders meet Wednesday in Brussels for an emergency summit to discuss a new Brexit extension. 
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)Demonstrations are scheduled all over the country, with one in Paris from 1200 GMT.CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to protest against soaring prices. The leader of hard-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, Jean-Luc Melenchon, marched alongside this year’s Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Annie Ernaux.

Nearly 100 naked migrants found at Greece-Turkey border, prompting UN to demand probe

The United Nations demanded a probe into the nearly 100 migrants found naked along the Greece-Turkey border, condemning the “cruel and degrading” treatment of the group that included children. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees “is deeply distressed by the shocking reports and images of 92 people, who were reported to have been found at the Greek-Turkish land border, stripped of their clothes,” the agency tweeted on Sunday. “We condemn such cruel and degrading treatment and call for a full investigation into this incident,” the tweet added. Greek police said Saturday that police officers found 92 migrants, mostly men from Afghanistan and Syria, stark naked on Friday, “some with bodily injuries.” They used plastic boats to cross the Evros River — known as Meric in Turkey — which forms the border between the two countries. LONDON DJ KIDNAPPED, FORCED INTO VAN ALONGSIDE WOMAN TURNS UP DEAD AS POLICE MAKE 4TH ARREST 
The UN has demanded an investigation after naked migrants were found at the Greece-Turkey border.
(@nmitarakis)Children were also among the group of migrants, Stella Nanou, the UN refugee agency’s spokesperson in Athens, told The Guardian. Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi on Saturday tweeted a photo of the naked migrants seen cupping their genitals, accusing Turkey of pushing them into Greece and stripping them naked before doing so. The claim prompted Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of Turkey’s president, to accuse Greece of engaging in “fake news.”On Monday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, again rejected the allegation and accused Athens of “shameless and reckless” behavior. He also took aim at European Union nations, accusing them of encouraging EU-member Greece to “slander” Turkey.The Greek government’s spokesman, Giannis Oikonomou, charged that Turkey was “continuing to openly instrumentalize migrants and even with unprecedented and unthinkable practices of barbarism.”
Greek Immigration and Asylum Policies Minister Notis Mitarachi holds a press conference ahead of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium on March 3, 2022. 
(Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)The exchange comes at a time when tensions between the two neighbors is running high, with the two engaging in mutual accusations of airspace violations and Turkey accusing Greece of militarizing islands in the Aegean Sea in violation of international treaties and threatening possible military action.”To be able to appear right even when you are in the wrong like Greece – you need to be shameless and reckless. It’s only Greece that can achieve this,” Çavuşoğlu said at a news conference at the end of meeting in Istanbul of the foreign ministers of Turkic states.”It is natural that Greece … attempts to slander Turkey as its crimes increases,” Cavusoglu said. “Unfortunately, there are European Union member countries who want to believe this, who want to accept everything that Greece says as true … This is what encourages Greece.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the press members after the Organization of Turkic States the Council of Foreign Ministers extraordinary meeting at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkiye on October 17, 2022. 
(Murat Gok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Turkey regularly accuses Greece of violently pushing back migrants entering the country by land and sea. Turkey’s coast guard frequently shares videos of such pushbacks. Greece accuses Turkey, which hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, of “pushing forward” migrants to put pressure on the EU.”This inhuman behavior is a disgrace to civilization, and the Turkish leadership, instead of blaming others for what is happening on its territory, should investigate the incident, punish those directly involved and honor its obligations under its Joint Declaration with the EU,” the Greek government spokesman said in reference to a 2016 deal to stem the arrival of refugees.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPOn Monday, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that a total of 61,737 migrants had been illegally pushed back from Greece since 2020, and that 152 migrants died as a result of the pushbacks. So far this year, 26,363 migrants were illegally forced back and 59 of them died, the ministry said.The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Incoming Swedish PM introduces new center-right coalition government

Incoming Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson vowed Tuesday to set the country on a new course on immigration, criminal justice and energy policy as he presented a center-right coalition government led by his conservative Moderate Party.The new Cabinet consists of 24 ministers — 13 men and 11 women. Thirteen are Moderates, six are Christian Democrats and five are Liberals. The three center-right parties secured a majority in Parliament after the Sept. 11 elections with the help of the Sweden Democrats, a far-right party that has entered the political mainstream after years of being treated as a pariah by the other parties.Moderate Party parliamentary leader Tobias Billstrom was appointed foreign minister while the head of Parliament’s defense committe, Pal Jonson, another Moderate, was tapped as defense minister.EUROPE’S RIGHTWARD SHIFT COULD BRING PRO-AMERICAN ALLIES IF CONSERVATIVES FOLLOW REAGAN PLATFORMChristian Democrat leader Ebba Busch became energy minister, and 26-year-old Romina Pourmokhtari of the Liberals made history as Sweden’s youngest-ever Cabinet minister, in charge of climate and environment. Elisabeth Svantesson, the Moderate Party’s spokeswoman on economic policy, was appointed finance minister.The new government represents a sharp shift to the right for Sweden where the center-left Social Democrats had been in power for 8 years.In a speech to Parliament, Kristersson promised a review of the penal code and expanded powers to police to fight criminal gangs that have grown more powerful and violent in recent years.
Incoming Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson introduces his new cabinet ministers in Stockholm, on Oct. 18, 2022.
(Christine Olsson/TT News Agency via AP)”No other country in all of Europe has the same trend of violence as Sweden: 53 fatal shootings so far this year, often outright executions,” he said. “The government now begins the biggest offensive in Swedish history against organized crime.”He also promised a “paradigm shift” on immigration, ending decades of liberal immigration policies that had started to tighten under the previous Social Democratic government.”Immigration to Sweden has been unsustainable,” resulting in poor integration, unemployment, insecurity and other problems, Kristersson said.About 20% of Sweden’s 10 million residents are foreign-born, many of them refugees from war-torn countries including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.SWEDEN’S PRIME MINISTER REFUSES TO SHARE PIPELINE PROBE RESULTS WITH RUSSIAAttitudes toward immigration have hardened in Sweden in recent years, fueling the rise of the Sweden Democrats, which is supporting Kristersson’s government in exchange for a say on government policy.Center-left opposition politicians have accused Kristersson’s coalition of shattering Sweden’s international reputation as a tolerant, welcoming nation.On energy, Kristersson signaled an expansion of nuclear power, which previous Swedish governments had started to dismantle. He said Sweden’s goal on electricity production would change from “100% renewable” to “100% fossil-free,” which leaves room for nuclear energy.The 58-year-old Moderate Party leader backs the bid by Sweden and neighboring Finland to join NATO, and said his government would stick to the previous government’s agreement with Turkey to withdraw support for Kurdish groups that Ankara accuses of terrorism.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”Together with Finland, Sweden will complete the accession to NATO,” Kristersson said.

French firm charged in US with Islamic State group payments

French cement company Lafarge pleaded guilty Tuesday to paying $17 million to the Islamic State group so that a plant in Syria could remain open, a case that the Justice Department described as the first of its kind.The company agreed to pay criminal fines of roughly $91 million and forfeit an additional $687 million for a total penalty of roughly $778 million.Prosecutors accused the company of turning a blind eye to the conduct of the militant group, paying to it at a time when it was involved in torturing kidnapped Westerners.ISIS OPERATIVE IN SYRIA KILLED IN US SPECIAL OPERATIONS RAID
A site of cement maker Lafarge is pictured in Paris, Nov. 14, 2017. Lafarge has pleaded guilty to paying $17 million to the Islamic State group so that a plant in Syria could remain open, in a case the Justice Department describes as the first of its kind. The charges were announced Tuesday in federal court in New York City. The allegations involve conduct that was earlier investigated by authorities in France. 
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)”The defendants routed nearly six million dollars in illicit payments to two of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations — ISIS and al-Nusrah Front in Syria — at a time those groups were brutalizing innocent civilians in Syria and actively plotting to harm Americans,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said in a statement.ISIS IS THREAT TO ENTIRE HUMAN RACE, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW”There is simply no justification for a multi-national corporation authorizing payments to designated terrorist organization,” he added.
A logo of Lafarge, the world’s largest cement maker, is pictured outside of a facility, in Paris,  Sept. 8, 2017.  Lafarge has pleaded guilty to paying $17 million to the Islamic State group so that a plant in Syria could remain open, in a case the Justice Department describes as the first of its kind. The charges were announced Tuesday in federal court in New York City. The allegations involve conduct that was earlier investigated by authorities in France.  
(AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)The charges were announced by federal prosecutors in New York City and by senior Justice Department leaders from Washington.The allegations involve conduct that was earlier investigated by authorities in France.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe Islamic State group is abbreviated as IS and has been referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Finland PM: Wide political support for Russia border fence

HELSINKI — Finland’s prime minister said Tuesday she was convinced that there is a “wide support” within the Parliament to build a fence on the Nordic country’s border with Russia as proposed by the Finnish border guard officials.“It is a question of securing proper surveillance of Finland’s (eastern) border in the future,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin told reporters at the legislature before a meeting with parliamentary groups on the border fence issue.The Finnish Border Guard had earlier suggested covering parts of the 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border Finland shares with Russia, the longest of any European Union member, to help in preventing possible large-scale and illegal migration — a concern that has grown in Helsinki amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Based on a risk analysis by border officials, the fence would be up to 260 kilometers (162 miles) long in total and cover areas that have been identified as potential risks for large-scale migration from Russia. The main parts of the fence would be erected in southeastern Finland, where most border traffic to and from Russia takes place, but some sections are likely be built also around border stations in the north.The construction of the fence would take up to four years and is expected to cost several hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in total, according to Finnish news agency STT. Finnish media reported there is support for the project from parties in Marin’s center-left coalition government and the opposition alike.A pilot section of the fence running the length of around three kilometers (two miles) will be decided on soon and built quickly, but the decision of the entire fence project may be postponed to the next government as Finland holds a general election in April 2023.———Follow all AP stories on the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Mexico military hack shows revelations of cartel involvement with some defense officials

MEXICO CITY – A leak of more than 4 million documents from Mexico’s Department of Defense [SEDENA] continues to uncover new allegations including collusion between high level military officials and the drug cartels. Known as the ‘Guacamaya Leaks’, the confidential documents from the Mexican government show how military officials sold technical equipment, weapons and key information about rival gangs to cartels.”After the revelation of the hacking, the intelligence capacities of the SEDENA, including the National Guard, are severely compromised,” warned Mexican national security expert Alejandro Hope. “Hope told Fox News Digital: “For one thing, their information-gathering methods may have been exposed, essentially throwing away several million dollars of technology investment. Likewise, the relationship with any informant that military intelligence has is seriously damaged, even if those names are not among the stolen information [the informants do not know it.] Similarly, the exchange of information with foreign agencies will be difficult due to well-founded fears that SEDENA’s systems are not secure.”The leaks are especially relevant at a time when the government has been accused by critics of militarizing public security by granting extraordinary powers to the army, despite condemnation and anger from citizens and dozens of civil society organizations. Observers fear that the country’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who promised to bring peace and take the army to the barracks, has given them the highest budget and unlimited power that no other president had previously conferred on them. 
President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador, center, waves to the crowd next to Secretary of Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval, left, and Secretary of the Navy José Rafael Ojeda Durán, right, during the annual military parade as part of the independence day celebrations last month in Mexico City.
(Photo by Cristopher Rogel Blanquet/Getty Images)MEXICAN GOVERNMENT HACK REVEALS MILITARY SOLD ARMS, RECEIVED ESCORT FROM CARTELS: REPORTHope cautioned “this is a fundamental reason to deny more power, faculties and budget to SEDENA: it is an institution that simply refuses to submit to democratic controls.”Luis Rubio, Chairman of México Evalúa, a think tank based in Mexico City, told Fox News Digital the leaks “exhibit an army with little sophistication in general, very basic in its approaches, little knowledge of the world in which they live and less of the rest of the planet. Military officials are very concerned and sensitive to any external criticism. Specifically, they retain the very “sovereignist” vision that the Americans are a danger, a threat to Mexico’s natural resources, especially oil.”President López Obrador has minimized the scandal and stated at the time:”There’s nothing that isn’t known.” He said the intrusion apparently occurred during a change of Defense Department systems. According to his critics, his objective is to keep intact his relationship with the criminal groups that can guarantee him resources and support to maintain his political ambitions into the 2024 presidential elections. Some observers say for him, the army plays a fundamental role in his electoral and political agenda, and that is why he is willing to protect them and to cover any scandal at any price.”The three lessons I take from Guacamaya leaks are: The Army’s inability to understand and relate to society in general, their displeasure with the responsibilities that have been assigned to them but that, as a structure that answers to their boss, they discipline themselves.” He said that “Perhaps the most important, is that their loyalty is to the President, not to the State or the Constitution” México Evalúa chairman Rubio said.MEXICAN CARTELS USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO RECRUIT SMUGGLERS AMID HISTORIC BORDER SURGE
Federal authorities seized several high-powered firearms and ammunition related to a gun trafficking group that provided the weapons to a violent Mexican drug cartel, authorities said. 
(Justice Department )Experts fear that this complicity will continue to deteriorate the security and weaken the rule of law even more. As the leaks reveal, there are links between former SEDENA pilots and drug traffickers, and at least 70 criminal groups are responsible for the violence and crimes in Veracruz, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. The government assigns seven times more soldiers to detain migrants than to fight Huachicol, or fuel theft.In a report titled “Results of Air Intelligence,” dated September 2020, SEDENA stated that “organized crime uses the airport infrastructure and the national airspace, taking advantage of the vacuum of authority due to the lack of capabilities of some agencies, lack of a legal framework and inefficient administrative processes”.Observers expect that a lot of key findings will come out in the following weeks, as the leaks continue to reveal how the government has been spying on citizens, journalists, activists and politicians. Mexican digital rights organization R3D, or Red en los Defensa de los Derechos Digitales, has identified Pegasus infections against journalists and a human rights defenders taking place between 2019 and 2021. The cases occurred after the Mexican president assured the public that the government no longer used the spyware and that there would be no further abuses.The leaks also reveal that SEDENA made confidential reports of governors, mayors, local and federal legislators, as well as prosecutors in the states, in addition to lists with the data of the different candidates who participated in the last elections. 
Hacker attacking internet
(iStock)GOV. GREG ABBOTT: TERROR DESIGNATION WOULD ALLOW BIDEN TO GET BILLIONS FROM CARTELSThere are also reports about corruption and weaknesses in customs and how that facilitates the trafficking of drugs and products through the country’s entry and exit points. Politicians have sought out the armed forces themselves to connect contractors and service companies in the many important infrastructure projects they control. Among them is the Felipe Ángeles International Airport and the Mayan Train.The former director of the Center for Investigation and National Security recently wrote in a Mexican publication that the leaks harm the Mexican state due to the government’s inability to protect the security infrastructure required by certain strategic areas.In his article to Letras Libres, a Mexican magazine, Guillermo Valdés wrote, “The combination of these two evils, the absence of a national security policy and the scarcity of resources for the basic operation of security agencies, is behind the ineffective cybersecurity strategy of the Mexican State. A high-ranking official from the national security cabinet resigned a few months ago, fed up with the utter futility of his three-year efforts to push the cybersecurity strategy in government.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPUnlike Mexico’s president, Hope said the leaks are very damaging and concerning. “These days, we have learned of the existence of arms trafficking networks fed from inside military camps, of corruption and money laundering in the contracting by the SEDENA of works and services, of openly illegal telephone interventions, carried out without judicial review. But we have also discovered that, in many cases, military personnel know and do not act, they are aware of possible homicides and do little or nothing to prevent them, they accumulate intelligence information on possible links between political actors and organized crime gangs and nothing is derives from that knowledge” he said.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2 killed in stabbing in southwest Germany, suspect detained

BERLIN — Two people were killed and another seriously wounded in a stabbing Tuesday in southwestern Germany, police said. The suspected assailant was detained.Police said that they were alerted to the stabbing in a suburb of the city of Ludwigshafen on Tuesday afternoon. The 25-year-old suspect, a Somali citizen, initially fled the scene and was detained in a drugstore. Officers used their firearms in the process and he was seriously injured, but not in life-threatening condition, police said.Police later said the victims who were killed were two German men, ages 20 and 35. The severely injured person is a 27-year-old German. Neither the names of the victims nor of the perpetrator were given, in line with German privacy policy.Further information on the incident and possible motives of the attack weren’t immediately available. Police said there was no danger to the public.